Pre-session Consultation

Head-shots are very important Your head-shot needs to represent you - who you are right now. So embrace who you are right now and be grounded in that. If you are unhappy with your hair or your weight, or whatever else might bother you, you can always change those things later.

Right now, at this moment, you are who you are.

Do not get me wrong! Think about what you want and what you want to wear. But when you show up... let all that go! We will get the shots you need. There is no question about that. Nobody is looking at your head-shot longer than you. The best headshots are the ones that make an impression within 10 seconds because that is about how long it is going to be looked at by a casting director when deciding whether or not to call you in. Provided you get called in and go through several rounds of callbacks. At this point, your head-shot may have been looked at for all of about 20 minutes total - if even that much.
What do casting directors want? Someone who fits all requirements of the part, can perform and is confident in who they are right now, plain and simple. The best way to approach this is to let it all go - sit down, and let me take your picture. In a way, you have to just not care.

1. Be the person with the plan.

For example: 'We are going to need to meet at 1:30 pm. We’ll probably start shooting by 2 pm, and we should be done sometime around 3 or 3:30 pm.
2. Downplay the importance of clothing.

Bring your four wardrobe options, cleaned and ironed. If you don’t have an iron, come a little earlier and we’ll steam what we need. When choosing your wardrobe options, keep it to solid neutral colours, as we do not want anything to take too much away from your face. Layers are also cool. If you have a jacket or sweater you like, bring those too. Do not bring anything that you do not feel great in. Colours that tend to work well are earth tones, blues, greens, browns, reds, olive, brick red, etc. Occasionally yellows and pinks work, but I would not bring more than one option of either. Do not feel like you need to go buy a bunch of stuff.
You should wear things that you look as much like yourself when you walk in the casting room. A head-shot is not really about what you wear. It is the look, the expression, and showcasing them as accurately as possible that counts. Head-shot photographers will always differ on this, but here is my take on clothing. Solid neutral colours are preferred like earth tones and layers as I mentioned above. Obviously, it is important to make note if someone needs a business look, or if you want to do some specific character work. I always ask my actor clients how they are being cast and to bring options to fall in line with those characters. However, as a whole, nobody will be called in depending on the clothes they wear in a head-shot

3. How the shoot is going to go.

This will get you excited. I am a really laid back person and I love what I do. We will have a great time. We do not have any strict time limits or exposure limits, and we shoot until we get what we need. Shooting outside is also a lot of fun and allows us to kick back and just take some pictures. It is a really simple and relaxed process. I generally do not shoot more than two people a day, and most of the time, just one person a day. This is mainly because I do not want to ever feel like I am running a head-shot factory. There is a sort of general time limit how much I can spend with one client but we won’t stop until we are both happy.
As I shoot exclusively outside, I am going to book two days for you, one as a primary and one as a backup in case we run into weather issues.
Payment is due in full at the end of your shoot.
If you need to cancel for any reason please just let me know as soon as possible so we can reschedule your shoot. If I am asking you to be flexible with the weather the least I can do is be flexible with your schedule.

4. Make-up

I do explain to my female clients in our pre-shoot consultation that it is important for them to look natural, and not too done up, so if they elect to do their own make-up I always suggest to them to start lighter, so that they can add later if needed. As we go through the shoot showing the images to you and if you want to put on more makeup you can, just I caution- DO NOT OVERDO IT! Your stage base with everyday mascara, shadow, blush and lips should do it. Avoid using:
⦁ a base or powder with any UV/SPF protection or titanium dioxide as this reflects light and causes highlights on your face,
⦁ also avoid shiny lip-gloss, as the reflected light can be distracting,
⦁ no heavy eyeliner, especially under the eyes, as it can age you on camera and looks a bit dated in photographs. This is a big one, as it’s fairly common.
⦁ no crazy colours like purple, green, or whatever, especially in the eye shadow. We do not want those eyes to get too dark, no heavy eye shadow at the start, for darker moodier images you can apply more later on during the shoot.
Look for a good “photo-ready” base and powder!
I would recommend if you decide NOT to use a makeup artist then go to Cosmetics or another store and ask a makeup artist there what they recommend for photography (flash and natural light), and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

5. Skin Issues

Skin problems can range from very minor to something you will want to reschedule your shoot for. That is the one thing that can destroy a session quicker than anything.

Reschedule the Shoot (Solution 1)

This is obviously best done in advance of the actual shoot date. During the pre-shoot consultation, it is important to tell you that if you experience any kind of sickness, allergy or skin issue to inform me immediately. This way we both can start to talk through the problem. Send me your picture of the issue, and evaluate our options. Can it be handled in post-production? Is it something a makeup artist can fix? Maybe shoot an email to your makeup artist to get their take on the problem. My ability to solve this kind of problems is the greatest weapon what I have as a photographer and entrepreneur.
Handle it in Post-Production (Solution 2)

I can do the retouching or I can send it out to retouch to do it. Either way, I feel like a majority of skin issues can be handled in post-production. Localized hue and saturation adjustments are very handy, along with dodging, burning, frequency separation, and curves adjustments. Also, some clients may be more challenging in this regard - nitpicking every tiny thing they see wrong with them - so it’s at this point that I have to make a stand. This is when I will fire up an image in Photoshop and show them that a few clicks of a mouse button will ease their mind.

Use a Makeup Artist (Solution 3)

 Certainly, this is a preferred method as well. Makeup artists will be able to communicate with you throughout the whole process - ensuring that you are happy with how you look. Some skin issues may not be able to be fixed by make-up alone, and as mentioned above it is always good to ask you for a recent photo to pass along to the makeup artist. This way how me, the makeup artist, and you can have an open dialogue about what needs to happen at the shoot. You can also voice any concerns about skin allergies to makeup they may have.

6. Getting you comfortable in front of the camera

I shoot almost everyone outside. I feel this helps people get relaxed. I try to keep the session feeling like almost more of social engagement than a business transaction. Lastly, if you are of age, and you feel it is appropriate, we can to have a beer or a glass of wine. It makes it a social engagement, and we all know a little alcohol can help loosen people up.
7. Delivery

Within seven days after the shoot, you will receive an email with your sneak peek images and ordering consultation schedule and final product details.
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